Devastating New Year’s Eve fire in Kennett Square

Historic Linden St. structure burns just before midnight
By Kim Chiomento, Staff Writer, The Times


Emergency responders battle the fire at 200 and 202 E. Linden Street, Kennett Square Borough

KENNETT SQUARE – As thousands rang-in the New Year during Historic Kennett Square Borough’s Midnight in the Square celebration, just one block away (and unbeknownst to many attending) a devastating fire was being fought by seven area fire companies.

Lead responder, Kennett Fire Company No. 1’s (KFC) Chief, Steve Melton says, “The initial call was received by Kennett Fire Company No. 1 at 10:20 PM and responders were on the scene at 200 E. Linden Street within four minutes. Upon arrival it was discovered that the basement was fully involved with extension into the walls.”

As of late Friday, The Chester County Fire Marshall and State Police Fire Marshall have not yet determined the origin of the fire.

Melton explains that much like November’s Chalfont House fire, the Linden Street home was also a wood-frame, balloon construction home. In this type of construction, fire travels quickly, straight-upwards and seeks cracks in walls until it reaches the top of the home. Unfortunately, as a result, the fire rapidly spread to the adjoining residence at 202 E. Linden Street.


Kennett Fire Co. No 1 received support from seven area fire companies

“To fight this type of fire, a house needs to be dismantled by responders from the inside out, is very tedious and it takes a lot of manpower to do so,” says Chief Melton, “Every piece of the fire needs to be found.” Unlike the Chalfont fire, which required the master stream water “blast” approach, the responders fought Linden Street Fire with hand-lines, and on average, entered the structure for 20 minute intervals.  The fire was declared extinguished at 12:40 PM according to Chief Melton.

Additional support was provided by following area fire companies: Longwood, Avon Grove, West Grove, Oxford, Po-Mar-Lyn, Christiana (Lancaster County). No occupants were injured, however, one emergency responder suffered minor injuries. According to the American Red Cross, 11 people are receiving their support including food, clothing and lodging.

Those who wish to assist with future relief efforts can visit: and are asked to consider supporting the many local fire companies who assist their communities daily, including the Linden Street fire lead responder, Kennett Fire Station No. 1:

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